| FAQ - Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Archived Through 2012
I need information on the proper donning, removal, and disinfection of gowns, gloves, respirators, eyeshields, leg coverings, and shoe covers?
he majority of dental offices do not perform procedures that require the use of shoe covers and leg coverings.
Further, outside of hospital dental clinics, dental workers do not provide dental treatment to patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis, and exposure to patients with active TB is the only treatment consideration that would require a dental worker to use a NIOSH-approved (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) respirator. Respirators must be test-fitted to ensure their efficacy, and manufacturer's instructions and hospital protocol should be followed concerning donning, wearing, removal, cleaning, and disinfection of reusable respirators.
Eyeshields should be washed with soap and water; if they had been visibly soiled with blood, follow the cleaning with disinfection according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Gowns are either disposable or reusable. Reusable gowns must be laundered by the employer, or at the employer's expense. Patient-care gloves must always be disposed of after each use; utility gloves may be washed and disinfected, but they must be discarded and replaced if they are torn, punctured, discolored, or show any signs of deterioration.
Leg and shoe covers are typically disposable.
For step by step procedures, you may want to consider obtaining any one of several resources(1,2,3) that address dental infection control, including personal protective equipment.
(1) Cottone JA, Terezhalmy GT, Molinari JA. Practical Infection Control in Dentistry, 2nd edition. Philadelphia: Williams & Wilkins, 1996.
(2) Miller CH, Palenik CJ. Infection Control and Management of Hazardous Materials for the Dental Team 2nd edition. St. Louis: Mosby, 1998.
(3) Eklund KJ, Bednarsh H, Haaland CO.OSAP Interact Employee Infection Control & Safety Training System. Brunswick, Maine, 1999.